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En dröm i Lagarnas hus: Ögonblicket, människan och det transcendenta. Studier i Stig Dagermans diktning
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Literature and History of Ideas.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
A Dream in the House of Law : The Moment, Man and the Transcendent: Studies in the Writings of Stig Dagerman (English)
Abstract [en]

The main aim of the dissertation is to examine the importance of the moment in relation to human experience and to the narrative in the writings of Stig Dagerman (1923-1954), primarily the novels Ormen (The Snake, 1945), De dömdas ö (The Island of the Doomed, 1946), Bränt barn (A Burnt Child, 1948), Bröllopsbesvär (Wedding Worries, 1949), the short stories "Den hängdes träd" (The Hanging Tree, 1945) and "De röda vagnarna" (The Red Wagons, 1946). The dissertation shows the moment as being of crucial importance by serving as the point of time for the fictional character’s critical experience. The moment also functions as a structuring principle for the narrative. In this, the discussion is supported by the theories on the chronotope found in the work of Mikhail Bakhtin.

With the ideas of Michael Riffaterre as the principal theoretical basis in the study, the reading of the texts focuses on a matrix common to the works discussed. The reading goes from a description of the primarily profane subject matter of the narrative to an understanding of the religious discourse in the works. This interpretation receives additional support in the theories on religious and mystical experiences found in Rudolf Otto.

Finally, the dissertation focuses on man’s sensitivity to, and longing for, a transcendental entity or a God in the broadest sense – a longing which manifests itself in different ways in these texts and is set against the human predicament of being. Man’s desperate religious longing for a transcendental entity or a God are ultimately understood as the significance or principle of unity in the texts under discussion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2010. , 225 p.
Stockholm studies in history of literature, ISSN 0491-0869 ; 53
Keyword [en]
Stig Dagerman, the moment, spiritual experience, mysticism, Michael Riffaterre, Rudolf Otto, Mikhail Bakhtin, matrix, chronotope, the nineteen-forties
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-27777ISBN: 978-91-86071-17-2OAI: diva2:233104
Public defence
2010-09-10, Auditorium 215, Humanistvillan, Frescativägen 24 E, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-08-19 Created: 2009-05-19 Last updated: 2015-06-16Bibliographically approved

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Apelgren, Rikard
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